The sending of a sharp diplomatic "note" from Ankara to Washington, DC this week was a diplomatic first for Turkey. The note, whose intention was to both inform and warn, focused on the recent statements made by northern Iraqi leader Masud Barzani. Last night, I spoke with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. I ask him "Will the diplomatic note you sent to Baghdad elicit any results regarding Barzani's lack of discretion, and if it doesn't, what are your plans?" FM Gul pauses for a few seconds, and responds in a decisive voice:
Yes, this is an important point....
Here is what this means Ankara is saying to Washington:
"We have reminded the White House many times about the presence of the PKK in northern Iraq. We have notified the US over and over that the terrorists, which are being logistically supported there, are carrying out attacks in Turkey. We have reiterated that the administration in Baghdad is not strong enough on this subject, and we have asked the US to take precautions. But despite the passage of much time, nothing has happened on this front. Now, on top of everything else, Barzani has started making statements about how, if necessary, he will intervene in Diyarbakir. By giving a copy of the Baghdad note to America, we are saying to the US: You are directing Iraq, we are addressing you."